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CHICAGO-A $200-million, 820-unit townhouse, condominium and multifamily rental community will begin taking shape on the Near South Side next year, with completion expected in 2009 following a plan commission endorsement Thursday. Eastgate Village will be built on 8.5 acres in the 2500 block of King Drive, most of it used for parking, owned by Mercy Hospital and Medical Center.

“Fifteen years ago, we were in here working with you on a break-through project called Central Station,” developer Gerald W. Fogelson told the plan commission, whose Fogelson Development and Cleveland-based Forest City Enterprises continue building the massive redevelopment about a mile north. “We think this is another break-through project. …We’re hoping this will trigger more activity in an emerging area.”

Central Station Development Corp. president and chief executive officer B. Timothy Desmond suggests Central Station is helping do just that for Eastgate Village. “I think [Eastgate Village] is going to be an expansion on the Near South Side moving further south,” Desmond tells GlobeSt.com.

A 40-unit building at 2520 S. King Dr. that offers housing to doctors and nurses will remain. A 175-unit building will be at the northwest corner of King Drive and 26th Street. Five buildings with 125 units will be built at 25th Street and King Drive, according to plans drawn up by SCB & Associates. A 180-unit building on the southwest corner of the site, on 26th Street and Prairie Avenue, will be reserved for senior housing. The western half of the site also will include another 340 units in 10 buildings.

Units will range from townhouses, as well as condominiums in three-, six- and nine-flat buildings. Prices will range from the “low $200,000″ range to the $450,000 area, Desmond says.

“This proposal adds a wide range variety of housing options to the Near South Side,” says Bonnie Sanchez-Carlson, president and executive director of the Near South Planning Board. “Mercy found a creative way to stay in the community.”

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